Iranian embassy in Ankara marks Armed Forces Day

Yeni Şafak – Iran’s embassy in Ankara held a reception Thursday to celebrate its Armed Forces Day and used the occasion to criticize U.S. decision to put Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on its terror list.

The Iran Ambassador to Ankara Mohammad Farazmand said the U.S. decision was a “unilateral decision [that] was rejected by many members of the United Nations, including Turkey.”

“IRGC, which is a main part of Iranian official army, had a very successful experience against terrorist groups in recent years in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region,” he said. “Your participation here and international army day of Iran is a clear message and a clear response to unilateralism.”

Criticizing other American decisions about the region, he said: “We believe that this unilateral decision is on the same line with the decision of the U.S. to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem, is on the same line with the statement of the U.S. about Golan Heights and the same line with the decision of the U.S. about the occupied territories in the West Bank.”

Military Attache Col. Fazel Beytaneh praised relations between Iran and Turkey, said it progressed “rapidly” in various fields, including military relations.

“We have to be able to develop bilateral military, defense and security cooperation based on mutual benefits.” he added.

Among the attendees of the reception were high ranking military officials from Turkey, Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoglu and Vatan Party chairman Dogu Perincek as well as other officials from the two countries.

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the Golan Heights as an Israeli territory. The move came after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in late 2017 and moved the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, triggering world outcry.

Iranian Armed Forces Day is national holiday celebrated annually since 1979.

Iran’s powerful IRGC was initially established to serve as the vanguard of Iran’s 1979 revolution. It currently enjoys more autonomy than the rest of the Iranian military, answering only to Iran’s supreme leader.